The team at MOTU has been busy in the past weeks, posting some in-depth webinars on production. Some feature the flagship DP10 DAW, of course, but there are some great tips for the M-series audio interface and its free Performer Lite, too.

Make a film score in Performer Lite

Performer Lite replaces MOTU’s old entry-level Audiodesk as “that free audio software MOTU bundles with their audio interfaces.”

Here’s the difference – you’re far more likely to use Performer Lite, and it’s way more modern.

I’ve routinely explained that part of why DP is still a thing is that it’s absolutely beloved by people scoring video, and its competitors can’t quite match its features. The surprise is, Performer Lite introduces a lot of those essentials. So if you’re pondering DP or getting more heavily into scoring, here’s a free way to get going – with software you might already own.

(I know a lot of you got those excellent M-series audio interfaces – I finally broke down and bought an M4 myself, even with some other audio boxes around, and it was hard, because it was sold out. So yeah – you’ve got this software, even if you didn’t touch it before.)

MOTU has getting started Performer Lite videos, but let’s skip straight to watching the cool stuff it can do from start-to-finish making a movie soundtrack:

If you’re in a long lockdown that hasn’t ended or entering a new lockdown or wondering what else you can do with your music skills – now’s a great time to get into this kind of scoring.

Also, you know, humpback whales!

Now who on YouTube dared down-vote Star Trek IV?!


DAWs are finally catching on to the idea of nonlinear clip launching. (*I’ll leave out Cakewalk some years ago, as I think even among its users it wasn’t so widely used.)

DP’s implementation is really sharp, and it doesn’t just feel like Ableton Live mashed into DP – though as a lot of DP users probably do use a bit of Live, you’ll feel at home. Instead, you get a MOTU-style take on the concept, and in the context of DP’s unique production tools and scoring-friendly markers and whatnot. And this stands toe to toe with the recent addition of clips to Apple’s Logic Pro – but without requiring you to switch to Logic if you don’t like it.

Last week, they gave us a view of how to work with it. And crucially, this is as MOTU always is friendly to working with video, scoring, and even features like varying tempo in sophisticated ways. Plus you can work with a ton of advanced features, multi-triggering, Chunks, and a workflow that seamlessly gets back to linear arrangement when you need it.

The video and Chunk features alone are things you don’t really get anywhere else – including in Bitwig Studio, Ableton Live, or Apple Logic Pro. There’s a reason we have so many DAWs, basically.

DAWs are also all pretty mature at this point when it comes to time stretching and groove quantize, but differ on subtler points. So DP is also pretty specific in how it works with time stretching, on-the-fly quality changing, working with the Waveform Editor, and specific quantization techniques.

So there’s a lot in this video, too. I’m reminded that I’m not a clinician, so I sure learned plenty.

Plenty more on their channel.

Have fun. And MOTU, really, you should bring back Mark of the Unicorn as your name. Doesn’t everybody love unicorns now?